The tall, lean class of 2018 athlete is committed to North Carolina, not only as a baseball player, but also as a wide receiver.
Adams was one of many highly touted prospects that had scouts buzzing at the NHSI — the biggest high school baseball showcase in the country — just months after he committed to UNC.
“Around late summer, going into the opening,” Adams said. “That’s when I was going to announce my commitment. I knew about a week before I flew out to Oregon.”
Adams plans to unite with his father next year at UNC. Deke Adams worked under head coach Larry Fedora in his first year at UNC as a defensive line coach. Since then, he's had stints at South Carolina and East Carolina before making his way back to Chapel Hill last January.
Deke’s son comes in as one of Fedora’s top recruits. He's ranked No. 163 on ESPN’s Top 300, and is the No. 24 wide receiver in the class. After playing quarterback as a junior in Blythewood, S.C., Adams made the move to Green Hope for his senior season in order to be closer to his father.
The transition included a position change. Adams excelled in his new role as a receiver for Green Hope, catching 54 passes for 1,060 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns. He would be a strong addition to UNC, a team that's losing senior receiver and offensive leader Austin Proehl.
But Adams might never make it to Chapel Hill.
The 6-foot-2, 174-pound senior impressed MLB scouts with his base running, fielding and quick bat this past week. Every single MLB team had a scout in attendance and saw what Adams can do in the field and on the base paths. Adams contributed four hits, stole five bases and scored three times to help lead his team to the title game.
Nathan Rode, a national supervisor for baseball prospect publication Prep Baseball Report, took notice.
“A guy like him, you focus fully on baseball, you’re talking about a really high ceiling,” Rode said.
Adams plays center field for Green Hope, where his long strides allow him to converge on hard-hit balls in mere seconds to save extra-base hits. He bats at the top of the order, and when he takes the base paths, he can be extremely dangerous. Rode ranks Adams' speed as an 80 — the highest mark on the 20-80 scale.
This season, Adams is hitting .341 in 14 regular season games. The senior has scored 14 runs and knocked in nine men.
Rode believes if Adams concentrates completely on baseball and enters the 2018 MLB Draft in early June, he could go very high.
“That kind of athleticism, those kind of tools, don’t get past the first round usually,” Rode said. “This is a very deep year so if he shows teams that he is fully interested in playing baseball and walking away from football, there’s no way he doesn’t go in the top two rounds.”
Adams will have a tough decision to make in the next two months — one that could shape the rest of his life. He could either attend UNC, potentially starting in two sports and playing for his father, or forego his eligibility by signing with the team that drafts him.
If he is drafted in the first three rounds, he could likely cash in on a signing bonus of at least $400,000.
“It’s in the back of my mind, but I’m not really putting much thought into it right now,” Adams said. “My parents are more than me, just because I’m trying to focus on my senior year and try to enjoy it while it lasts.”
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